John DiGiovanni, PhD

Portrait of John DiGiovanni, PhD

John DiGiovanni, PhD

Associate Director of Basic Research

LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes

John DiGiovanni received his BS degree in Pharmacy and his PhD degree in Pharmacology from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He did his postdoctoral work at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI in carcinogenesis and cancer biology.   After joining the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC) in 1983, Dr DiGiovanni became the Director of the Science Park-Research Division and Chair of the Department of Carcinogenesis at UTMDACC as well as serving as the Leader of the Carcinogenesis Research Program in the NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UTMDACC in 1997 up until the time he joined the University of Texas at Austin in January of 2010.

Dr DiGiovanni is currently Professor in the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Coulter R. Sublett Endowed Chair in Pharmacy. In addition, Dr. DiGiovanni is Director of the Center for Molecular Carcinogenesis and Toxicology (CMCT) at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also currently serving as the Chair of the Chemo-Dietary Prevention Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis. Finally, Dr DiGiovanni has published more than 250 research articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and more than 50 invited reviews/book chapters.

Dr DiGiovanni is an active member, and has held several elected positions in a number of scientific societies including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Society of Toxicology. Dr DiGiovanni will serve as the President of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology starting May 1, 2017. Dr DiGiovanni is also an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr DiGiovanni has been involved in organizing or co-organizing multiple national and international meetings and symposia on cancer mechanisms and cancer prevention. In addition to his role as Editor-in-Chief for the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis, Dr DiGiovanni has served on editorial boards for a number of other scientific journals. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Cancer Prevention Research, Journal of Cancer Prevention, and Nature Precision Oncology. Dr DiGiovanni has also served on many national and international advisory boards and has supervised numerous graduate students, research fellows and tenure-track investigators, many of whom have assumed important positions in the cancer research community both in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr DiGiovanni maintains a highly visible, internationally recognized research program that focuses on understanding mechanisms involved in cancer development and progression with the goal of identifying targets and mechanisms for cancer prevention and treatment. He has identified and studied growth factor signaling pathways that are altered both during early stages of tumor development and later during cancer progression that are potential targets for therapeutic interventions (e.g., Stat3, Akt, mTORC1 and others). His recent work includes studies on how diet influences cancer development and progression, particularly how dietary energy balance (across the spectrum of calorie restriction to obesity) impacts cancer development and progression as well as understanding the underlying mechanisms. He has also identified several natural phytochemicals and phytochemical combinations that have calorie restriction mimetic effects and that are under study in the laboratory as potential cancer chemopreventive agents. Finally, another area of research in Dr. DiGiovanni’s lab involves collaborative studies to target metabolic liabilities in cancer cells especially the high amino acid requirements using potential therapeutic amino acid degrading enzymes. Cancers under study include non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.